It all started with a video:
Then someone said this about the video on Facebook:
It’s nice that she can speak calmly and clearly here. The rally’s that are blocking streets with people shoving journalists etc are the problem. Just the other day, one rally was blocking a bridge where a father was needing to get his infant to the hospital. He ended up having to hand his child through the barricade where the ambulance had to take a longer detour while the father sat in traffic not being able to be with his child. This is where the #blacklivesmatter is causing problems. I’m fine with it and agree with it if it is organized and doesn’t put other lives in danger. (Emph. mine)
This is my problem with the Black Lives Matter movement as well. As I said in a previous blog post, the concept upon which the Black Lives Matter movement is based is easy to understand and I can agree with it. However, as we see in the following story, how the movement is implemented isn’t always so reasonable or pleasant. In fact, sometimes it’s downright dangerous, particularly to children.
The Memphis Black Lives Matter rally shut down the I-40 bridge Sunday night with hundreds of protesters refusing to leave. Traffic could not go across, but paramedic Bobby Harrell with Crittenden EMS was determined to get to a child who was stuck on the bridge with his family.
“We received a call there was a child needing medical attention stuck in traffic up on the bridge and due to the protest going on the bridge the family was not able to get through traffic to get him to Le Bonheur,” Harrell said.
A photo shows parents handing the child off to paramedics on the bridge.
“The sheriff’s department had to escort us up the wrong way of the interstate to the child,” he said.
Harrell said after he had the very sick child in the ambulance, the driver had to go 25 minutes out of the way.
“We had to turn around and come back to West Memphis and cross over at MLK to get over to 55.”
It’s unlikely that the people participating in the protest were aware of the medical emergency involving the baby and that they were threatening the safety of that child. Perhaps if they did, they would have allowed that family through.
That’s not the most disturbing part. These comments from Facebook are.
Comment: This is where the #blacklivesmatter is causing problems. I’m fine with it and agree with it if it is organized and doesn’t put other lives in danger.
Response: Here’s the problem. That is our privilege to expect calm and clear. If we look at this through the lens of oppression, would it be reasonable to expect the Jews in 1930-1940 Germany to be calm and clear?
Huh? What do privilege and Jews in Nazi Germany have to do with anything? The commenter is stating that his only objection with the Black Lives Matter protests is whatever point they put another human life in danger. It seems like the responder is confusing how the commenter is OK with peaceful protests with the issue of a human life being in danger, particularly a baby’s, even if the protest is peaceful.
But that’s not all.
Comment: Nobody has the right to endanger others. Also, I don’t buy into the “privilege” concept. I just don’t. Sorry.
Response: I wonder if Germans felt that way (people not having the right to endanger others) about the Jews before the holocaust. Just a rhetorical question.
It is all a matter of perspective. How do we love our neighbor by putting ourselves into our neighbor’s shoes and understanding their perceptions even if we don’t see it. This is what being open minded. When a group tells us “hey- we are being oppressed!” We should be slow to dismiss, especially as Jews who understand being dismissed easily in the 30s and 40s.
A small child was inadvertently endangered by a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. It seems the response has gone way far afield. When a single human life, especially a child’s, is less important to a “social justice warrior” (SJW) than empathizing with a population and a social movement, then something has gone terribly wrong. Also, the comparison between our current social condition in America to Nazi Germany doesn’t seem to map well. The Nazis wouldn’t have tolerated such protests if the Jews were marching in the streets, at least not in the restrained manner of the protest being referenced here.
Here’s a little more.
Comment: No, if I thought I was keeping a little child from getting to the hospital, I’d feel terrible. That’s my honest feeling.
Response: I appreciate the engagement. Again it is a matter of perspective. If we were living in 1940s Germany and the Jews were protesting the registration act and prevented German children from getting to the hospital, what would our perspective be- to challenge the Jews who were fighting for their perceived livelihood or the Germans who were living in relative comfort?
Actually, I’ve read any number of news stories about how Jewish Israeli medical facilities routinely provide treatment to Palestinians, particularly children, so it’s a Jewish value to care about the disadvantaged, even if they represent a population trying to kill you, so I don’t think the responder’s message is valid, at least when applied to Jews (and yes, I know the responder is Jewish).
I know the responder has children, and I have to wonder if it was one of his kids who was sick and in need of emergency medical care and a Black Lives Matter protest was preventing the responder’s child from receiving that treatment, would the responder be so calm, philosophical, and abstract about it?
Are we, in any sense, supposed to sacrifice the well-being and perhaps even the life of a single child, regardless of their race, for the sake of empathizing with a social movement?
It’s doubtful that the responder really is OK with putting kids in danger, but the fact that he distances his feelings of compassion from that child and the family’s situation is downright scary.
I wrote the fictional dystopian short stories The Loyalty Test and particularly The Tribunal to illustrate how badly we can err if we elevate a social movement and a cultural philosophy above our ability to feel compassion and respond with mercy.
But let me put this another way. Let me make it personal (hypothetically). I have a nearly 13-month-old granddaughter. If she were terribly ill and the only path to get her medical care was blocked by a Black Lives Matter protest, no matter how valid the issues are surrounding the protest and that movement, I wouldn’t be OK with it…I wouldn’t be OK with it at all.
My overriding priority would be (and is) to protect and care for my granddaughter. All other considerations are secondary…and they should be. Any reasonable, rational, and compassionate parent and grandparent would understand this. To those that don’t, you’ve got a problem.